Brenda Blethyn plays a washed-up comedienne in the coming-of-age drama Introducing The Dwights. Unlike the down-on-her-luck character she plays, the 51-year-old England native has a stellar film career that includes working with all-stars like Keira Knightley and a very young Brad Pitt. She was also awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the British Empire) in 2002, and holds two doctorate degrees. Brenda, who played Brad’s mom in 1992’s A River Runs Through It, is pleased with the success her onscreen son has enjoyed. ‘It’s wonderful,’ she told OK! at NYC’s Essex House. ‘I would suspect that he’s the same as he was before, except he’s mega-famous. He was ordinary ? he’s a nice guy. Of course, this is before he was ëthe’ Brad Pitt, but you could see that he had something special. He wasn’t just a pretty face ? he could act. He was in the moment. But it’s lovely. If he’s happy, I’m happy.’Keira, who played her daughter in Pride and Prejudice, is another favorite. ‘She is very smart, she’s playful,’ she told OK! ‘She doesn’t behave in any way that might suggest she’s a big star. She loves her friends and family. She’s a bright girl, and she considers herself almost a jobbing actor. She’s not a diva.’Perhaps humility is one lesson Keira learned from Brenda. Getting an O.B.E. might make some actors swell with pride, but Brenda keeps her feet on the ground. ‘Oh, I forget I’ve got it. I can get married in St. Paul’s Cathedral, so that’s tempting. In the crypt, I think. I’m surprised sometimes when I pick up my mail and it says ëBrenda Blethyn, O.B.E.’ In fact, it says ëDr. Blethyn,’ or ëDr. Dr. Blethyn, O.B.E.’ because I’ve got two doctorates. I forget and sometimes I pick up the mail and I’m like ëBrenda Blethyn, O.B.E.,’ who is this?’On the big day, she brought her elderly aunt along to watch the festivities, but she didn’t want to wear her teeth. ‘I thought she’d say ëdo I have to wear a hat?’ but she said ëdo I have to wear my teeth?’ I said ëno auntie, not if you don’t want to.’ She said, ëbecause they’re chafing me gums.’ I said ëno, you don’t have to wear your teeth,’ so she didn’t. When I wrote a memoir at the end of last year, I had a bunch of photos in it. She said, ëI hope you’re going to put that pose when the Queen gave you the B.O.’ Hahaha. Also, she’s frail, she’s 90, she’s got arthritis, but she can putter around in her little flat. She’s very independent. But because it was a day in London, I said ëwe’d better take the wheelchair, otherwise you’ll get tired.’ She said ëoh OK, Brenda.’ When we wheeled her in the palace, the usher said ëoh, wheelchair, go right to the front.’ So she’s wheeled right up to the front with the other wheelchairs. Prince Charles came to do the ceremony and as he entered the Great Hall, the National Anthem fanfare struck up. She shot out of her wheelchair and stood at attention! I was like ësit down, they’ll think you got here under false pretenses.’ Bless her heart.’Catch Brenda in Introducing The Dwights, which opens nationwide on July 6.By Valerie Nome Photo: Wireimage.com

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